WHO recently released a report on air pollution levels and child health on the eve of WHO’s first ever global conference on Air Pollution and Health. The data and the facts the report has come forward with are appalling.
The report says that every day nearly 93% of world’s children under the age of 15 breathe in polluted air that causes many health hazards and complications. The report also estimated that as many as six lakh of these children perished in 2016 alone due to health issues like acute lower respiratory infections caused by polluted air.
The report reveals that when pregnant women are exposed to polluted air, they are more chances of premature delivery of the baby. And the child born is more likely to have small, low birth weight. The pollution also affects the neurodevelopment and cognitive ability and also leads to asthma and childhood cancer. Considering the high levels of pollution in cities like Delhi there is greater risk for chronic respiratory and cardio vascular diseases.
The WHO Director General Dr. Tedros AAdhanom Ghebreyesus also went on record saying “Polluted air is poisoning millions of children and ruining their lives. This is inexcusable. Every child should breathe clean air and grow to fulfil their full potential.”
This report clearly throws light on the current situation of air quality in the cities and also emphasises the need for the countries to take adequate measures to avoid any sort of health hazards. Since India accounts for 25% of global deaths due to poor air quality there is a huge requirement of constructive measures and policies by the government to improve the situation.